St. JOSEPH -- A new live music series at the Local Blend in St. Joseph has one simple request of audience members: try not to talk during the show.

The coffee shop's Saturday night Listening Room series kicked off on February 1. Most recently, the series featured national touring artist Gaelynn Lea, who performed to a packed house.

"You can come early and get your seat, because it's first come, first-served," said Astra Seitz, manager of the Local Blend. "And you can order up until the time the musician plays. And then, we ask everyone to keep their conversations to a whisper, if they need to have any. We'd like them to focus their attention on the musician."

"We're such a small place, so the musician really gets to interact with the audience," Seitz added.

The idea was brought to the Local Blend by community member Stephanie Cofell, who also books each show.

"Her husband is a musician and they travel all over the place," Seitz says. "She's been to other listening rooms. We really liked the concept - it's a place to really showcase the music, instead of having a band play here and people talking over them. People have to be pretty interested in the music to come in."

The next Listening Room show on Saturday, Feb. 29 features popular blues/folk artist Charlie Parr – which is already sold out, according to Seitz.

Show times and ticket price vary from week to week. To learn more, and keep track of upcoming shows, follow the Local Blend on Facebook.

More From AM 1240 WJON